From Bio Journal - December 2013

MHLW simplifies screening of GM additives

On 11 November 2013, MHLW finalised its policy on exempting certain food additives from the safety assessment and sent the policy for deliberation to the working group on the investigation of newly developed foods of the MHLW Pharmaceutical Affairs and Food Sanitation Council. Up to now, all GM food additives have been referred to the Food Safety Commission and only those assessed as safe have been approved. Under the new policy, gself-cloningh and gnaturally occurringh GM food additives will be exempted from the screening. Self-cloning is genetic recombination carried out using only genes from the same species of bacteria or that originated from that bacteria. gNatural occurrenceh uses genes from different bacteria, but those used are cases where the exchange of genes is known to occur between the bacteria in nature. MHLW has already indicated the view that self-cloning and natural occurrence are exempted from the restrictions of the Cartagena laws governing the impacts of GMOs on the environment. In addition to this, MHLW has now exempted these additives from the safety assessments as food.

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